Browns Vs. Patriots Preview

Two weeks ago, not many people predicted the Cleveland Browns could take down the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. The Browns were a team that only had one win going into that game, a rookie quarterback and what seemed to be a lack of direction.

Two weeks ago, the Browns came to play and knocked off the Saints in an upset.

With the New England Patriots rolling into Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday, will the Browns be able to upset another NFL powerhouse?

Against the Saints, Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan came up with a defensive scheme that shut down Saints quarterback Drew Brees and a Saints offense that typically wreaks havoc on weaker secondaries. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a bit older then Brees but will want to test the Browns defense early on and the secondary. Brady is not afraid to go deep and with inconsistent players like Eric Wright in the Browns secondary, the Patriots will try and go and deep early on to put the Browns away. If the Browns come in playing defense like they did against the Saints, they may be able to stick with the Patriots in this ballgame.

On offense, the Browns will have to develop some new tricks up their sleeve because the Patriots will have seen the tricks they played against the Saints two weeks ago on film. The Browns managed to fool the Saints on a fake punt, a Peyton Hillis pass to Colt McCoy and a Josh Cribbs pass to Eric Wright on special teams but will need to come up with different ways to fool the Patriots defense. Taking the Patriots by surprise will help the Browns move the ball down the field and keep them in this ballgame.

During the week, the question of whether or not Seneca Wallace should start instead of Colt McCoy came up and the decision to start McCoy was made. McCoy seems to be comfortable with the Browns offense, has done well against tough defenses and understand the offense. McCoy knows where his receivers are, will not force the ball down the field and will throw it away if necessary. McCoy has done well under the circumstances and if he keeps playing like he has, has the opportunity to do well against the Patriots.

Another key storyline in this game will be the heated rivalry between Browns head coach Eric Mangini and Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It’s pretty apparent these two have not had much to say to one another when Mangini turned in Belichick’s coaching staff for unfair practices when coaching the New York Jets a few seasons ago. Some believe Mangini ratted out Belichick and the Patriots for listening in on opposing team’s headsets during a game and the relationship between these two men is still heated.

The Browns proved two weeks ago they can take down a stronger team and have the chance to do so against the Patriots.

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~ by jeffrsabo on November 6, 2010.

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